APRIL S. GOODWIN

Adoption Lawyer

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PRACTICE INFORMATION

  • Adoption
  • Paternity
  • Criminal Defense
  • Employee Rights
  • Employment Discrimination
  • Employee Wage Claims
  • Civil Rights and Discrimination
  • Pet Owner Rights & Claims

LICENSE INFORMATION

  • Florida
  • United States District Court: Middle District of Florida
  • United States District Court: Northern District of Florida
  • United States District Court: Southern District of Florida

LANGUAGES

  • English
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Attorney April S. Goodwin has over 14 years of legal experience in a wide range of legal areas ranging from criminal law, to employment and labor law, discrimination, family law, adoptions, class actions, products liability, and general litigation. Ms. Goodwin first became interested in the law when she was in high school and she heard about the members of the rap group The Two Live Crew being put on trial for the crime of obscenity in Broward County, Florida. She was both fascinated and angered by the idea that a person could be criminally charged for mere speech and expression. It was at this time that Ms. Goodwin began her lifelong passion and devotion to issues relating to civil rights including, free speech, freedom of religion, police misconduct, and discrimination. In the fall of 1991, Ms. Goodwin enrolled at The Ohio State University. Although she was still interested in the law, she was also fascinated by the science behind why people do what they do. Due to this interest, and the fact that she always seemed to be the go-to person for friends and families when they needed advice or a shoulder to cry on, she decided to major in psychology. While studying psychology, she became interested in a branch of psychology known as industrial/organizational psychology, which is the scientific study of human behavior in the workplace. While in college she often combined this interest with her interest in the law in her work on research projects for classes, studying, writing, and speaking on such topics as women in the workplace, discrimination, and barriers to full equality in the workplace for all. After obtaining her undergraduate degree in psychology from The Ohio State University, Ms. Goodwin took a few years off from her academic career during which time worked as a social worker for child protective services in Van Wert, Ohio. While working as a social worker, Ms. Goodwin saw firsthand the uncertainty and fear children and families often face when involved in the legal system due to dependency, abuse, neglect, and that even the overall positive experience of adoption can be stressful for those unfamiliar with the legal process. This was also the time that Ms. Goodwin began working in the legal system as she worked with families, foster and adoptive parents, children, law enforcement, and prosecutors both in and out of court relating to issues involved in the child protective services system. She often had to testify in court and also advised children and families on what to expect when they went to court. This work re-ignited Ms. Goodwin's love for the law and her desire to help people navigate, and sometimes fight, a system that many feel is against them. She therefore enrolled in law school at Ohio Northern University in the fall of 1998. While at law school, Ms. Goodwin in addition to learning how to think like a lawyer and study a wide array of areas of law, she continued to focus her studies and research on civil rights, discrimination, and employment law. After graduating law school in May 2001, Ms. Goodwin left the cold and gray skies of Ohio and moved to sunny Ft. Myers, Florida where she began her legal career serving as an Assistant State Attorney for the 20th Judicial Circuit. She prosecuted DUIs and other driving offenses, domestic violence, drug crimes, and other general crimes. When she moved on to private practice, she spent 5 years representing employers and their insurers in worker’s compensation and employment/labor cases at a firm in Ft. Myers, Florida. Prior to opening her own legal practice, Attorney April S. Goodwin spent nearly 6 years representing individuals and businesses harmed, either financially or physically, by defective products and the unfair and deceptive trade practices (false advertising) of product manufacturers. In February 2015, Ms. Goodwin relocated to Pinellas County, Florida and decided to open her own legal practice. Now that she was in charge of her own destiny, Ms. Goodwin decided to return to the reasons she went to law school in the first place - discrimination, employee rights, civil rights, and to assist families with the adoption process. Also, as a pet owner and attorney, Ms. Goodwin saw that very few, if any, local attorneys were servicing the legal needs of pet owners. This meant that when pet parents faced legal problems relating to their pets, they were either left to their own devices or had to hire an attorney who did not have a practice area focused on their needs. She therefore decided to focus part of her practice on the myriad of legal issues that often arise for pet owners. Attorney April S. Goodwin received her undergraduate degree in psychology from The Ohio State University and her Juris Doctorate from Ohio Northern University. She is a member of the Florida Bar Association and is admitted to the United States District Courts in the Middle District of Florida, Southern District of Florida, and Northern District of Florida. She lives in Pinellas County, Florida with her significant other Ryan, their two Australian shepherds, Chewbacca and Dr. Indy Anna Jones (aka Chewie and Indy), and their cat Hugo, who is named after former Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black, a champion of free speech. In her spare time, Ms. Goodwin volunteers with the 501st Legion, a Star Wars cosplay charity, plays with her dogs and cat, and argues with people on Facebook on a wide range of topics, including politics, the Constitution, movies, music, whether or not shaving an Australian shepherd is cruel and unusual punishment, and whether Batman or Wolverine would win in a fight (definitely Wolverine).

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